Grandma and I sat on the back porch with our coffee and scrambled eggs. We talked about the news for a couple minutes. The usual goings on about congress, Casey Anthony, and the whole she-bang. After a couple minutes, we fell to silence as we reveled in the beauty of God's creation.
Our silence had been too long (or so was my deduction), and so I asked "Grandma, what was your favorite memory growing up?"
It took her a couple seconds to collect her thoughts. Her response was as follows:
"Running into my dad's arms. Mom would always send us out when Dad got home to give him hugs and kisses."
The funny thing about this is that my mom would do the same with me and all my siblings. We would race to see who could get the first kiss (yes, we are a competitive family).
"Every Sunday after lunch was over with the entire family, I would leave the table and sit just outside the dining room. I listened to them talk, and they never complained. But, perhaps that was because it was during the war, and they realized how much others were suffering."
I responded with a nod, and I thought of how many times I needlessly complain.
"In between my junior and senior year of college, my dad died of cancer. On the same day, my aunt died as well. And, not two weeks later, my dad's mother died as well. I didn't cry when we went to all the funerals. People probably thought me insensitive. Weeks later, when planning for Father's Day, I remember that it just hit me. My dad wasn't going to be there. I found a back staircase and cried for a couple minutes. Then, life just carried on anyway. But, suffering is like a permanent bruise. If no one touches it, you forget it's there. But, when someone rubs up against it, it's painful."
This summer I have the privilege of living with my grandparents. I'm learning to cherish every moment, ask questions, and learn from their vast experience. My grandmother is a strong and beautiful lady. It's sad to me how last summer when I lived with them, I cared nothing for their stories, their life, or their journey. I was selfish and uninterested. Now, I have an opportunity to make up lost time, to learn from them. And, I plan to do just that.